Welcome to my favourite time of year. Yet again spring is well and truly underway and the reminder today of a warm low to mid 3o degree day, just reminding us that summer is just around the corner. If we could just bypass summer and go straight to Autumn that would be very useful. Then I would have my two favourite seasons back to back. Any way here are some photos to enjoy. Cheers!
Whenever I see this plant, mostly when it’s in flower I just sigh or even a MMMmmmm or AAHHhhhhh and amazingly it’s not a rose. But! it is somehow connected to them, all will be revealed later. In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about Malus ioensis plena. Also known as the Betchel crab Apple, this beautiful tree only grows to about 6m tall by about 3-4 wide. This means it can be planted in lots of smaller gardens making it possibly one of the most common crab apples or even of all smaller tree’s. Common you say! Well yes its very common but in gardening terms common actually means something that has been tried and tested and survived and performed and continued to perform over and over. I know if you say common it sounds dull but hey, have a look here.
Seriously, how beautiful is that!
It’s seriously just a sea of blossoms. Now how is it connected to roses? Well simply put it belongs to the Rosaceae family. How? Read on. The majority of species in Rosaceae have leaves with serrated margins and a pair of stipules where the leaf joins the stem. Branch spines and prickles are common on trees and shrubs in the rose family. There are plenty of more similarities that put crab apples into Rosaceae. Simply put if you look at a human family group the offspring of the parents will have distinguishing marks and looks that make them look like their parents to some degree, and if you have cousins, their features will match yours in some way(mostly).
So we know roses have lots of thorns, this crab apple has sharp spine like tips to its branches. Get the connection? Anyway, enough of that stuff, more photo’s I think.
Even the buds are gorgeous!
I think the photos say more than all my ramblings….
Todays stroll revealed a few more things of interest, take this for example, Anemone sylvestris from central and western Europe which looks quite delicate but is found in dry deciduous woodlands and also meadows. So it may have some hardiness to it, I have yet to test this in my garden. I could imagine a whole lot of these flowering under some tree’s somewhere.
Here’s something interesting as well. Linaria aeruginea which hails from Spain and Portugal. This plant is a small perennial, say 15-30 cm both ways with interesting coloured snapdragon like flowers, I think its name means rust coloured. The flowers certainly have splashes of rust colouring on them!
Here is Aquilegia saximontana which comes from North America and is endemic to the Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rocky Mountain Columbine. It grows to only about 15-20 cm and has dainty lavender and white flowers with hooked spurs protruding behind the flowers.
Here’s a side view
I think these would look good massed planted, actually any Columbine would look good massed planted.
I like to take a stroll through the garden most days, but springtime is a great time to do it because there is something happening all the time. Plants are growing, buds are forming, flowers are opening and the weeds are growing. Weeds are plants too you know. They just happen to be in the wrong place for me. Thistles growing in the chook yard would be fantastic! Chooks love them, but when their in the garden it means work. See what I mean: chook yard-thistles, magic! Thistles-garden, non magical!
Now to a few things I saw today. Here is Rosa xanthina looking magical in full flower, a great rose from china with primrose yellow single flowers. It grows too about 2.5-3 metres each way and flowers once during spring.
I know this photo doesn’t really do it justice, but it is quite stunning seeing it in full flower. Below is a closeup of the flowers.
Here’s another great rose, Rosa omiensis pteracantha comes from china again, with a funny name again but commonly known as the Red winged thorn rose, has super large translucent red thorns on new growth. This rose has unique single flowers which only have four petals, I think it’s the only rose to do so and their only about the size of a 10 cent piece and quite insignificant really, but alluring at the same time. Confused? So am I.
While we’re thinking about roses, here’s another one. Rosa fedtshenkoana another fabulously named rose from a country other than China. Russia, da! that’s right Russia. This rose has pure white single flowers which are simply smashing!
Quite a thorny brute too.
One more rose to round them out would be “Fruhlingsgold” simply put, a sight to behold in full flower in my opinion that is. Pale lemon or pale yellow or pale egg yolk or whatever colour you think it is semi-double flowers on a large shrub to about 2-2.5 metres both ways simply make for a magnificent visual impact.
Up close and personal you will hear the mass sound of bee’s at work.
One more photo for good measure.
Now we will move on to something quite different. Not sure what I call this?
Here’s Aster alpinus looking all cheerful and everything, I think I need more of these.
Aquilegia alpina doing what it does best at this time of year, looking brilliant!
We will finish off with a bright splash of colour from Eschscholzia ‘Red Chief” just to really startle you!
This is a Californian poppy which certainly makes an impact with its bright red/orange flowers imposed on grey foliage. I think I need more of these!